Miami Open tournament director James Blake reveals the tournament has done its best to help Novak Djokovic be granted a special exemption to enter the United States for the upcoming Masters event. Djokovic, 35, hasn't been vaccinated against COVID-19.
As per the current United States vaccine laws, unvaccinated foreigners cannot enter the country. Djokovic, who didn't compete in Indian Wells or Miami last year, applied for a special exemption as he is hoping to return to the Sunshine Double this month.
Djokovic and the great Andre Agassi are the most successful players in Miami Open history - they share the record with six titles each. "We’d love to have our greatest champion there. We’ve highlighted the fact that it would be good for the economy, for the Miami community, and for tennis fans all over the world.
It’s getting late in the game, so it’s not looking as likely, but we’ve done what we can to try to get an exemption,” Blake told The Miami Herald.
“It’s getting late in the game, so it’s not looking as likely, but we’ve done what we can to try to get an exemption,” Blake said.
Blake added that the tournament at Indian Wells, California, that precedes the Miami Open, also applied for an exemption.
👍 — C Kristjánsdóttir ●🐊 (@CristinaNcl) March 2, 2023
Djokovic was asked last week about Indian Wells, Miami
Last week in Belgrade, Djokovic held a press conference with mostly Serbian journalists.
Djokovic confirmed his hamstring injury was healed - he would compete at this week's ATP event in Dubai - and also said he was yet to receive an answer from the United States. "Ambitions are the highest in every tournament.
As for the plans after that - I don't know, it depends on the situation with America. I'm still waiting for an answer, I'd like to, I'm also preparing for a tour there, but we'll see how things go in the next two weeks," Djokovic said.
The Indian Wells Masters is starting on March 8th, while the Miami Masters is kicking off on March 22nd. As it stands right now, it does not seem likely that Djokovic will be granted a special exemption to enter the United States for Indian Wells and Miami.
In May, the current United States vaccine laws are expected to change, which means that Djokovic should be allowed to compete at the US Open later this year.